Ex-Vietnam POW brings fallen comrades home (Edward Mechenbier)

Piloting the same plane that rescued him 31 years ago, a former American prisoner of war returned to Vietnam on Friday on his last military mission to bring home remains thought to be fallen comrades.

Air Force Reserve Maj. Gen. Edward Mechenbier stood in his flight uniform saluting two aluminum cases draped in American flags as they were carried onto the Air Force C-141 — dubbed the “Hanoi Taxi” after it carried freed prisoners home on Feb. 12, 1973.

“For those of us who were fortunate enough to come home, I think we owe a little bit to all the families … to help them make the closure on that end,” he said.

Mechenbier, 61, of Beavercreek, Ohio, spent nearly six years locked in Hoa Lo prison, nicknamed the “Hanoi Hilton,” after his fighter jet was shot down over North Vietnam in June 1967 during his 80th mission.

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